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40 Thousand Skeletons

Every time lemons are mentioned in ASOIAF

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I was forced to create this in order to respond to someone in another thread, and I think it deserves a thread of its own. Have fun everyone :D 

Lemons have been mentioned on exactly 58 occasions so far in ASOIAF (including TWOIAF and the released TWOW sample chapters). I think it is pretty clear looking at the list that George wants us to conclude that A) Dany's memory of the lemon tree is significant, B) lemon trees don't generally grow north of King's Landing, and C) lemon trees are most commonly found in Dorne. And the implication of those conclusions put together is that the House with the Red Door was probably in Dorne, where the lemon trees are. Here is the complete list, with Dorne-related things in bold:

All lemon search results

  1. Dany’s original memory of lemon tree
  2. Dany’s lemon tree
  3. lemon scent in Illyrio’s manse
  4. lemon cakes to be served by Cersei
  5. grasses yellow as lemon
  6. Sam would snitch lemon cakes and blueberry tarts
  7. lemon cakes at KL tourney feast
  8. Sansa and Jeyne search for lemon cakes
  9. cart tarts in KL
  10. Arya wishes for lemon cake
  11. Mormont drink lemon in his beer every day
  12. Tyrion internally jokes about Aegon juggling lemon pies
  13. lemon cakes at Bitterbridge
  14. Mormont says no lemon in wine, even though he always drinks it in beer
  15. HOTU lemon tree
  16. lemon sky
  17. lemon cakes are Sansa’s favorite
  18. Varys smells of lemons
  19. Do you think Sharna might have lemons? quote: “A Dornish girl once cooked me duck with lemons."
  20. With lemons. If you had some. And where would we get lemons? Does this look like Dorne?
  21. more lemon cakes with the Tyrell crew
  22. Sansa chooses perfume with a hint of lemon
  23. Mormont jokes about obsidian, they can call it lemon pie for all I care
  24. The banners of House Dalt of Lemonwood (from Dorne)
  25. GoHH calls Lem Lemon and says his mouth will taste of lemons
  26. Ser Ryman Frey bathes in lemonwater
  27. Tyrion’s pigeon pie with lemon cream at PW
  28. The Water Gardens smell of lemons and blood oranges
  29. Commoners throw various citrus fruits at Doran
  30. Cersei drinking lemon water
  31. Brienne describes Sansa and her purported love of lemon cakes
  32. lemon orchards in Dorne
  33. Arianne eats a kid roasted with lemon and honey
  34. Sansa promises Robert lemony lemony lemon cakes. Robert demands 100 lemon cakes and five tales!
  35. Sansa asks LF if he found lemons so she can fulfill her promise of lemon cakes
  36. Lady Sybell looked as if she had swallowed a lemon
  37. Stannis orders boiled eggs and lemon water for his meal
  38. Jon offers lemon water
  39. Stannis orders more lemon water
  40. Ysilla (a Dornish Orphan) squeezes a lemon over a pike while cooking
  41. Eggs and lemon soup served at feast for Ser Balon Swann in Sunspear
  42. Yezzan zo Qaggaz drinks lemon water while bidding on Tyrion
  43. Tyrion internally jokes that Dany will free the slaves and then bake them all a lemon pie
  44. Yezzan’s tent is lemon-colored
  45. lemon trees in Dany’s garden in Meereen
  46. Arya drinks a tart potion before putting on a face and compares it to biting into a lemon. Arya loved lemon cakes.
  47. Dany serves lemon juice to Galazza Galare
  48. Jeyne recalls Gage the cook making lemoncakes to prove her fake identity. quote: “He was a good cook. He would make lemoncakes for Sansa whenever we had lemons."
    1. WF did not grow its own supply of lemons it would seem. Lemoncakes were a special treat cooked only when they got a fresh delivery.
  49. Raff the Sweetling explicitly questions the absence of citrus fruit trees in Braavos, because he didn’t know Braavos is north of KL
  50. 12 ft tall lemon cake at Sweetrobin’s tourney. quote: The cake had required every lemon in the Vale, but Petyr had promised that he would send to Dorne for more.
  51. Dunk eats duck cooked with cherries and lemons on his way to Ashford (near Highgarden)
  52. rival High King of Dorne “ruled from the high hall amongst the lemon trees” during the times of the First Men (Lemonwood is mentioned a total of 6 times, including TWOIAF)
  53. Darkstar drinks unsweetened lemonwater
  54. Arya bathes in lemonwater at the House of Black and White

Lemon search results summary

  • lemons are brought up 58 times in ASOIAF so far (including TWOIAF)
  • 13 are mentions of lemon cakes (Cersei will be serving cakes on way to KL, 4 mentions are Sansa eating cakes in KL, Sam would snitch cakes at Horn Hill, Arya wishes for cakes, cakes are served at Bitterbridge tourney, Brienne describes Sansa’s love of them, Sansa promises Robert cakes, Sansa asks LF if he found lemons for cakes for Robert, Jeyne recalls Gage the cook and Sansa’s love of cakes, giant cake at Robert’s tourney), and 1 is the cart tarts in KL
  • 6 are mentions of Lemonwood itself or a specific member of House Dalt (from Dorne), and 2 are mentions of lemon trees in Dorne other than the Lemonwood (description of the Water Gardens, and Arianne’s party passing through lemon orchards)
  • 6 are people drinking lemon water, and 1 is Dany serving lemon juice
  • 4 are people using lemon scent in some form (Illyrio, Varys, Sansa, and Ryman Frey)
  • 4 are about Dornish food (Anguy’s memory of Dornish girl cooking duck with lemon, Arianne eating kid roasted with lemon, Ysilla squeezing lemon over a pike, soup made with eggs and lemons at Sunspear), and 1 is commoners in Sunspear throwing various citrus fruits at Doran
  • 3 are people using lemon to describe a shade of yellow
  • 3 are Dany’s memory of the house with the red door and the lemon tree (2 in AGOT and 1 in HOTU in ACOK)
  • 3 are people joking
  • 2 are about LC Mormont drinking lemon in his beer but not in his wine
  • 2 are instances of people educating others about how farth north lemon trees grow (Sharna/Anguy and old guy/Raff)
  • 1 is the GoHH calling Lem Lemon and saying his mouth will taste of lemons
  • 1 is Tyrion’s pie with (possibly poisoned) lemon cream at the PW
  • 1 is “Lady Sybell looked as if she swallowed a lemon”
  • 1 is the mention of lemon trees in Dany’s garden in Meereen
  • 1 is Arya drinking a tart potion and comparing its taste to lemons
  • 1 is Dunk eating duck cooked with lemons
  • 1 is Arya bathing in lemonwater

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39 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Jeyne recalls Gage the cook making lemoncakes to prove her fake identity. quote: “He was a good cook. He would make lemoncakes for Sansa whenever we had lemons."

  1. WF did not grow its own supply of lemons it would seem. Lemoncakes were a special treat cooked only when they got a fresh delivery.

Winterfell also had that greenhouse yet still didn't have a lemon tree despite Sansa and Arya loving lemon cakes to that degree. Easy to grow from seed yet still didn't grow them.

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7 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Winterfell also had that greenhouse yet still didn't have a lemon tree despite Sansa and Arya loving lemon cakes to that degree. Easy to grow from seed yet still didn't grow them.

That does not follow. "whenever we had lemons" could mean when they had a harvest from the lemon tree in the greenhouse.

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I would like to make a proposal to end this lemon debate once and for all:

 

Lemongaters:

  1. Lemons do not grow in Braavos
  2. Lemons usually comes from Dorne
  3. Dany was in Dorne for her childhood
  4. Her memories of Braavos and Willem Darry are wrong
  5. GRRM slightly acknowledges that the lemon tree was special


Anti-lemongaters:

  1. It is one lemon tree, that can be grown in Braavos with delicate care
  2. It is one lemon tree, that can be grown anywhere else besides Dorne, like the Reach, the Riverlands or the Stormlands etc...focusing on just Dorne is bias
  3. Dany has always been in Essos since Dragonstone like the book said
  4. She has vivid memories of the red door, a single lemon tree, and Willem Darry IN Braavos.
  5. Nothing special to see here....everyone lets move on


Map Guy's middle-ground "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy" proposal to end the debate:

  1. Lemons do not grow in Braavos
  2. This baby lemon tree came from Dorne as a gift from House Martell when Dany was very young...during the signing of the Secret Marriage Pact
  3. Dany has always been in Essos since Dragonstone
  4. This specific memory with the red door & lemon tree gift IN Braavos will be used by Doran Martell in TWOW or ADOS to verify that the Martells remained Targaryen loyalists after Robert's Rebellion....thus, earning Dany's favor and trust when she finally arrives in Westeros. Doran, being a bad father by forgetting Quentyn's age during the Secret Marriage Pact....FORGOT TO TELL Quentyn before his journey ... which could of altered his fate in Essos.
  5. GRRM acknowledges that the lemon tree was special.

 

How's my middle-ground proposal?

Everyone wins a little bit. 
Anti-lemongaters admit that the lemons should not grow in Braavos, but this lemon tree WILL be extremely important to the plot in the future.
Lemongaters admit this lemon tree was indeed in Braavos and drop their R+L=D agenda.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Edited by The Map Guy

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3 hours ago, Ser Leftwich said:

That does not follow. "whenever we had lemons" could mean when they had a harvest from the lemon tree in the greenhouse.

I'd agree but it makes sense for them to have more than one tree and have them stagger production of fresh fruit. Over a years' long summer, one could do that and as there's no food shortage in Westeros normally, produce would have to keep producing for the years of summer. Also, the juice, fruit and peel can be preserved. 

 

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2 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

drop their R+L=D agenda.

Noticing the lemon tree is weird among other things doesn't mean it necessarily follows that Dany is someone else, nor that the poster wants or thinks her to be someone else. 

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2 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Noticing the lemon tree is weird among other things doesn't mean it necessarily follows that Dany is someone else, nor that the poster wants or thinks her to be someone else. 

To be fair, that is what I think and what we were discussing in other threads, but yes that goes far beyond the simple conclusion that the house with the red door was probably in Dorne, which there could be at least several different reasons for George doing, and that is the only claim I make for the sake of this particular thread.

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7 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Winterfell also had that greenhouse yet still didn't have a lemon tree despite Sansa and Arya loving lemon cakes to that degree. Easy to grow from seed yet still didn't grow them.

Exactly

7 hours ago, Ser Leftwich said:

That does not follow. "whenever we had lemons" could mean when they had a harvest from the lemon tree in the greenhouse.

I agree with Lollygag's response to this. It would be weird if lemons were a special occasional treat while growing their own supply. Though not impossible obviously

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6 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

I would like to make a proposal to end this lemon debate once and for all:

 

Lemongaters:

  1. Lemons do not grow in Braavos
  2. Lemons usually comes from Dorne
  3. Dany was in Dorne for her childhood
  4. Her memories of Braavos and Willem Darry are wrong
  5. GRRM slightly acknowledges that the lemon tree was special


Anti-lemongaters:

  1. It is one lemon tree, that can be grown in Braavos with delicate care
  2. It is one lemon tree, that can be grown anywhere else besides Dorne, like the Reach, the Riverlands or the Stormlands etc...focusing on just Dorne is bias
  3. Dany has always been in Essos since Dragonstone like the book said
  4. She has vivid memories of the red door, a single lemon tree, and Willem Darry IN Braavos.
  5. Nothing special to see here....everyone lets move on


Map Guy's middle-ground "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy" proposal to end the debate:

  1. Lemons do not grow in Braavos
  2. This baby lemon tree came from Dorne as a gift from House Martell when Dany was very young...during the signing of the Secret Marriage Pact
  3. Dany has always been in Essos since Dragonstone
  4. This specific memory with the red door & lemon tree gift IN Braavos will be used by Doran Martell in TWOW or ADOS to verify that the Martells remained Targaryen loyalists after Robert's Rebellion....thus, earning Dany's favor and trust when she finally arrives in Westeros. Doran, being a bad father by forgetting Quentyn's age during the Secret Marriage Pact....FORGOT TO TELL Quentyn before his journey ... which could of altered his fate in Essos.
  5. GRRM acknowledges that the lemon tree was special.

 

How's my middle-ground proposal?

Everyone wins a little bit. 
Anti-lemongaters admit that the lemons should not grow in Braavos, but this lemon tree WILL be extremely important to the plot in the future.
Lemongaters admit this lemon tree was indeed in Braavos and drop their R+L=D agenda.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

I don't think many people are going to go for that particular middle ground. If that is the truth, we definitely don't have enough info to build a solid case for it yet. There are no hints that Doran gifted someone a lemon tree at the signing of the pact or anything like that. IDK how we were supposed to figure that one out, and I think George does want us to come to some sort of conclusion about Dany's childhood before TWOW comes out with the reveal.

R+L=D is not an agenda, it's a hypothesis ^_^

Even in your mock up description of both sides there, the anti-lemongaters claim we lemongaters are focusing on Dorne in a biased way, which I think is what they say a lot of the time. But George obviously wants us to associate lemon trees with Dorne, as shown in the OP

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Interesting list of mentions, but I notice you didn't do a count of 'mentions of lemons relating to Essos and/or Essosi characters'. A quick glance suggests this may outweigh Dorne references......

 

My take is that GRRM initially had Dany et al in Tyrosh (where lemons are no problem), then moved the story to Braavos and forgot to change the scenery, that's all. No lemongate, just sloppy continuity.

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2 minutes ago, Rufus Snow said:

Interesting list of mentions, but I notice you didn't do a count of 'mentions of lemons relating to Essos and/or Essosi characters'. A quick glance suggests this may outweigh Dorne references......

 

My take is that GRRM initially had Dany et al in Tyrosh (where lemons are no problem), then moved the story to Braavos and forgot to change the scenery, that's all. No lemongate, just sloppy continuity.

I just counted everything once, but you could definitely do other categories and look for other connections. All the lemon cakes are either in the south or the Vale, for instance, except the memories of them at WF, where they would get occasional lemon deliveries. There are only 6 Essos-related lemon mentions (excluding Dany's memory of the lemon tree at the house with the red door). 2 allude to the lemon trees that grow in Meereen, which is exactly as far south as Sunspear, and 1 is the Dornish woman Ysilla cooking food, while there are 14 Dorne-related mentions, so it is definitely Dorne focused. And that's without counting the other 12 mentions of lemon cakes, which ultimately climax in the giant lemon cake which required every lemon remaining in the Vale, and LF is explicitly getting more from Dorne. So you could argue that 26/58 mentions are Dorne related. Regardless of how you count, there is definitely an overwhelming theme that lemon trees grow in the south, Dorne specifically.

I would absolutely believe it is just sloppy continuity on the part of George, but then he keeps going out of his way to bring up lemon trees, especially in TWOW so far, so I think it is much more likely he did it on purpose.

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8 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:
  • Dany’s original memory of lemon tree
  • Dany’s lemon tree
  • lemon scent in Illyrio’s manse
  • lemon cakes to be served by Cersei
  • grasses yellow as lemon
  • Sam would snitch lemon cakes and blueberry tarts
  • lemon cakes at KL tourney feast
  • Sansa and Jeyne search for lemon cakes
  • cart tarts in KL
  • Arya wishes for lemon cake
  • Mormont drink lemon in his beer every day
  • Tyrion internally jokes about Aegon juggling lemon pies
  • lemon cakes at Bitterbridge
  • Mormont says no lemon in wine, even though he always drinks it in beer
  • HOTU lemon tree
  • lemon sky
  • lemon cakes are Sansa’s favorite
  • Varys smells of lemons
  • Do you think Sharna might have lemons? quote: “A Dornish girl once cooked me duck with lemons."
  • With lemons. If you had some. And where would we get lemons? Does this look like Dorne?
  • more lemon cakes with the Tyrell crew
  • Sansa chooses perfume with a hint of lemon
  • Mormont jokes about obsidian, they can call it lemon pie for all I care
  • The banners of House Dalt of Lemonwood (from Dorne)
  • GoHH calls Lem Lemon and says his mouth will taste of lemons
  • Ser Ryman Frey bathes in lemonwater
  • Tyrion’s pigeon pie with lemon cream at PW
  • The Water Gardens smell of lemons and blood oranges
  • Commoners throw various citrus fruits at Doran
  • Cersei drinking lemon water
  • Brienne describes Sansa and her purported love of lemon cakes
  • lemon orchards in Dorne
  • Arianne eats a kid roasted with lemon and honey
  • Sansa promises Robert lemony lemony lemon cakes. Robert demands 100 lemon cakes and five tales!
  • Sansa asks LF if he found lemons so she can fulfill her promise of lemon cakes
  • Lady Sybell looked as if she had swallowed a lemon
  • Stannis orders boiled eggs and lemon water for his meal
  • Jon offers lemon water
  • Stannis orders more lemon water
  • Ysilla (a Dornish Orphan) squeezes a lemon over a pike while cooking -- ON THE RHOYNE
  • Eggs and lemon soup served at feast for Ser Balon Swann in Sunspear
  • Yezzan zo Qaggaz drinks lemon water while bidding on Tyrion
  • Tyrion internally jokes that Dany will free the slaves and then bake them all a lemon pie
  • Yezzan’s tent is lemon-colored
  • lemon trees in Dany’s garden in Meereen
  • Arya drinks a tart potion before putting on a face and compares it to biting into a lemon. Arya loved lemon cakes.
  • Dany serves lemon juice to Galazza Galare
  • Jeyne recalls Gage the cook making lemoncakes to prove her fake identity. quote: “He was a good cook. He would make lemoncakes for Sansa whenever we had lemons."
    1. WF did not grow its own supply of lemons it would seem. Lemoncakes were a special treat cooked only when they got a fresh delivery.
  • Raff the Sweetling explicitly questions the absence of citrus fruit trees in Braavos, because he didn’t know Braavos is north of KL
  • 12 ft tall lemon cake at Sweetrobin’s tourney. quote: The cake had required every lemon in the Vale, but Petyr had promised that he would send to Dorne for more.
  • Dunk eats duck cooked with cherries and lemons on his way to Ashford (near Highgarden)
  • rival High King of Dorne “ruled from the high hall amongst the lemon trees” during the times of the First Men (Lemonwood is mentioned a total of 6 times, including TWOIAF)
  • Darkstar drinks unsweetened lemonwater
  • Arya bathes in lemonwater at the House of Black and White

OK, 13 ESSOSI connections, and I'm not sure about 'grasses yellow as lemons' or 'lemon sky', that may be two more...

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6 minutes ago, Rufus Snow said:

OK, 13 ESSOSI connections, and I'm not sure about 'grasses yellow as lemons' or 'lemon sky', that may be two more...

13 is an exaggeration. Dany is remembering the lemon tree while she happens to be in Essos, and Tyrion makes a joke while he happens to be in Essos, and Arya compares a potion to lemon flavor while she happens to be in Essos. The Ralf comment is obviously the biggest Dorne clue, though they do also mention the free cities.

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6 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

This specific memory with the red door & lemon tree gift IN Braavos will be used by Doran Martell in TWOW or ADOS to verify that the Martells remained Targaryen loyalists after Robert's Rebellion....thus, earning Dany's favor and trust when she finally arrives in Westeros. Doran, being a bad father by forgetting Quentyn's age during the Secret Marriage Pact....FORGOT TO TELL Quentyn before his journey ... which could of altered his fate in Essos.

 

I could buy this part, but not because Doran is that bad of a father, but that he forgot himself. He didn't deal with the Sealord or bring the lemon tree to Braavos, Oberyn did.

It would be a good bet that Doran initially intended to send the Viper with Quentyn to seek out Dany when his original plan died with a molten pot of gold on his head. He couldn't have known that Oberyn was going to get himself foolishly killed and the Viper's rank, knowledge, clout and experiences in Essos would have been a lot more useful than that raggedy bunch that was sent with Quentyn. And he would have been a damn sight more impressive to Dany and been able to get a proper audience with her to introduce Quentyn properly.

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for an answer to my query of why Darry didn't make any arrangements for Viserys and Dany, knowing full well that he was sick and probably wouldn't live to see them to adulthood. They didn't seem to have any friends in Braavos or wherever they were. Viserys seems to have taken over their fate, at least for a time, until their secret benefactors caught up with them again. How old was he then, ten, twelve? That's that part for me that never really added up.

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8 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I would absolutely believe it is just sloppy continuity on the part of George, but then he keeps going out of his way to bring up lemon trees, especially in TWOW so far, so I think it is much more likely he did it on purpose.

Yeah, all the fall-out from the 5-yr shift is what makes me think 'sloppy copntinuity', plus an SSM somewhere where GRRM says he had Tyrosh down for Dany's original 'home'. As far as TWOW is concerned - I don't want to know, 'til it comes out - I'm avoiding all the sample chapters....

I agree lemons are a thing, but that Braavos reference, not so much.  If anything at all, just a foreshadowing of the reveal on the marriage pact. :cheers:

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27 minutes ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

I could buy this part, but not because Doran is that bad of a father, but that he forgot himself. He didn't deal with the Sealord or bring the lemon tree to Braavos, Oberyn did.

It would be a good bet that Doran initially intended to send the Viper with Quentyn to seek out Dany when his original plan died with a molten pot of gold on his head. He couldn't have known that Oberyn was going to get himself foolishly killed and the Viper's rank, knowledge, clout and experiences in Essos would have been a lot more useful than that raggedy bunch that was sent with Quentyn. And he would have been a damn sight more impressive to Dany and been able to get a proper audience with her to introduce Quentyn properly.

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for an answer to my query of why Darry didn't make any arrangements for Viserys and Dany, knowing full well that he was sick and probably wouldn't live to see them to adulthood. They didn't seem to have any friends in Braavos or wherever they were. Viserys seems to have taken over their fate, at least for a time, until their secret benefactors caught up with them again. How old was he then, ten, twelve? That's that part for me that never really added up.

Tinfoil, it is possible that Oberyn was on a suicide mission for the greater good and always planned to get the Mountain to confess during a trial by combat but then use special poison + assistance from his friend (from Oberyn's sellsword company the Bloody Mummers) Qyburn to resurrect UnGregor and then force Cersei to use him in a trial by combat and prove her a liar for grand political reasons. Yes, I am describing pj tinfoil.

Quote

"Oberyn knows that Gregor was the one who . . ."

"He knows nothing. He has heard tales. Stable gossip and kitchen calumnies. He has no crumb of proof. Ser Gregor is certainly not about to confess to him. I mean to keep him well away for so long as the Dornishmen are in King's Landing."

Quote

"Undoubtedly. I swore as much in the letter I sent to Prince Doran with his brother's body. But it must be seen to be the sword of the King's Justice that slays him, not a poisoned spear. Heal him."

Quote

That troubles me, I confess, but what could the bitch queen hope to accomplish by deceiving us? If Gregor Clegane is alive, soon or late the truth will out. The man was eight feet tall, there is not another like him in all of Westeros. If any such appears again, Cersei Lannister will be exposed as a liar before all the Seven Kingdoms. She would be an utter fool to risk that. What could she hope to gain?"

"The skull is large enough, no doubt," said the prince. "And we know that Oberyn wounded Gregor grievously. Every report we have had since claims that Clegane died slowly, in great pain."

And yeah, we are definitely missing some key info about Dany's childhood and that is weird that Darry made no arrangements, or if he did they were unmade by someone.

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9 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

I would like to make a proposal to end this lemon debate once and for all:

 

Lemongaters:

  1. Lemons do not grow in Braavos
  2. Lemons usually comes from Dorne
  3. Dany was in Dorne for her childhood
  4. Her memories of Braavos and Willem Darry are wrong
  5. GRRM slightly acknowledges that the lemon tree was special


Anti-lemongaters:

  1. It is one lemon tree, that can be grown in Braavos with delicate care
  2. It is one lemon tree, that can be grown anywhere else besides Dorne, like the Reach, the Riverlands or the Stormlands etc...focusing on just Dorne is bias
  3. Dany has always been in Essos since Dragonstone like the book said
  4. She has vivid memories of the red door, a single lemon tree, and Willem Darry IN Braavos.
  5. Nothing special to see here....everyone lets move on


Map Guy's middle-ground "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy" proposal to end the debate:

  1. Lemons do not grow in Braavos
  2. This baby lemon tree came from Dorne as a gift from House Martell when Dany was very young...during the signing of the Secret Marriage Pact
  3. Dany has always been in Essos since Dragonstone
  4. This specific memory with the red door & lemon tree gift IN Braavos will be used by Doran Martell in TWOW or ADOS to verify that the Martells remained Targaryen loyalists after Robert's Rebellion....thus, earning Dany's favor and trust when she finally arrives in Westeros. Doran, being a bad father by forgetting Quentyn's age during the Secret Marriage Pact....FORGOT TO TELL Quentyn before his journey ... which could of altered his fate in Essos.
  5. GRRM acknowledges that the lemon tree was special.

 

How's my middle-ground proposal?

Everyone wins a little bit. 
Anti-lemongaters admit that the lemons should not grow in Braavos, but this lemon tree WILL be extremely important to the plot in the future.
Lemongaters admit this lemon tree was indeed in Braavos and drop their R+L=D agenda.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

It's not that lemons do not grow in Braavos, it's that they cannot grow in Braavos. It's too cold. Otherwise, lemons would be growing all over the southern half of Westeros.

So either Dany was living somewhere else with her lemon tree, or she failed to notice that she was living in a greenhouse so large and with so little framing that it would easily qualify with the Titan as one of the manmade Wonders of the World.

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6 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Noticing the lemon tree is weird among other things doesn't mean it necessarily follows that Dany is someone else, nor that the poster wants or thinks her to be someone else. 

R+L=D relies on Dany being born in Dorne, thus there is nothing to prove she was ever in Dorne, with the exception of the suspicious Lemon Tree...which I feel is an argument that can be easily rebuttal. The alternative to R+L=D is R+L=J, which is....well, I don't think I need to explain that.

 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

There are no hints that Doran gifted someone a lemon tree at the signing of the pact or anything like that. IDK how we were supposed to figure that one out, and I think George does want us to come to some sort of conclusion about Dany's childhood before TWOW comes out with the reveal.

No, there are no direct hints. But there are no way of ever proving to Dany that the Secret Marriage Pact a decade ago is real. Unless Doran can nonchalantly reference the red door and lemon tree that only Dany knows about, the fondest memory of her childhood. I say this is a very GRRM-esque plot if Dany and Doran ever meet.

 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

But George obviously wants us to associate lemon trees with Dorne, as shown in the OP

Well aside from the lemon tree and the red door...there are also the wooden carved animal faces.
If GRRM told me that Dany was born in Dorne, I would ask GRRM why the carved animal faces then? Who in Dorne would have an interest in that thing? I don't think a lot of sigils of Dorne are animals to begin with. Who would have the wealth to create wooden animal faces inside a big house, and still shelter Dany from Robert's spies?

I would of said the Sealord of Braavos and he loves animals. He has the wealth to carve animal faces and a network of safehouses in Braavos. 

If you counter my argument by saying ANYONE can carve faces of animals IF THEY ARE WEALTHY, well that is what we anti-lemongaters are telling you...anyone can grow and care for a lemon tree IF THEY ARE WEALTHY.

3 hours ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

I could buy this part, but not because Doran is that bad of a father, but that he forgot himself. He didn't deal with the Sealord or bring the lemon tree to Braavos, Oberyn did.

It would be a good bet that Doran initially intended to send the Viper with Quentyn to seek out Dany when his original plan died with a molten pot of gold on his head. He couldn't have known that Oberyn was going to get himself foolishly killed and the Viper's rank, knowledge, clout and experiences in Essos would have been a lot more useful than that raggedy bunch that was sent with Quentyn. And he would have been a damn sight more impressive to Dany and been able to get a proper audience with her to introduce Quentyn properly.

That would be a juicy lemon, but if Doran never knew .... lemongate would go on forrreevvveerr .... until to reveal of TOJ I guess.

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I clicked on this thread because, based on the title, I thought it would be a drinking game. But I'm just as happy to see such a good book-based analysis of evidence.

I realize the goal here, as always, is to determine whether there is a hidden clue in Dany's memory of the lemon tree. I think there is a hidden clue, but it's not necessarily about her literal birthplace (or the place where she spent her early childhood).

As always, feel free to skip this post if symbolism is not your bag. (Or if I've expounded on this color /fruit theory too many times.)

I believe that lemons and all fruit are often linked to colors in ASOIAF. GRRM uses fruits the way he uses House colors or sigils, to drop hints about hidden motives or connections or heredity or other symbolic purposes in the books. At this point, my best guess is that the author often uses colors in combinations to give them unique meaning. For instance, the Trident river has red, blue and green forks. We associate those colors with different Houses, gems, fruits and/or characters and can try to puzzle out the meaning of Rhaegar and Robert fighting at the Ruby Ford or of Catelyn's body being thrown in the Green Fork. A key to figuring out the color theory (and the fruit symbolism) is the way the author uses rainbows as a central symbol of the New Gods religion and of Renly's rainbow guard.

In attempting an explanation of the meaning of colors (and the fruits that are associated with them), my best guess was that red, orange and yellow are associated with Targaryens because they are fire colors. (Their violet eyes also mean that purple and plums are also associated with Targaryens, but that may be a topic for another thread.)

Lemons are particularly important to a couple of major characters (Sansa and Dany), as you point out, but are also mentioned in connection with additional characters both major and minor. I don't think you can look at lemons in isolation to figure out why GRRM has given the fruits such a strong association with certain situations, locations and people. For instance, Dany's lemon tree is associated with the red door. Why does this matter? Because red and yellow in combination make orange, and orange is the central Targaryen color associated with people named Aegon. Dany's yearning for the lemon tree and the red door combines colors that show her ambition to be the new Aegon the Conqueror and (perhaps) her Targaryen heritage but also include two other important symbols from the books: a tree and a door. Fully understanding this craving in Dany's soul would require us to understand her connection to trees and doors as well as the colors the author has planted in her head.

The lemon connection with Sansa is still Targ-related, if my surmise is correct that Sansa somehow really is Alayne, that Littlefinger is her father, and that Littlefinger is a hidden Targaryen. It is Littlefinger who provides the biggest lemon cake in the world for Sansa and Sweetrobin. Why is Sansa's craving for lemon cakes and not for lemon trees or lemon in water? By associating a baked item with Sansa's symbolism, I believe the author is telling us that Sansa wants fire and/or something sweet to accompany her lemons. Her approach to the Targaryen colors is different from Dany's, perhaps signalling her separate bloodline.

It will be interesting to see whether Sansa and Sweetrobin gravitate toward the two Royce houses they will be seeing at the Gates of the Moon (remember Robar Royce represented red) or toward the red/white diamonds of Harrold Hardyng. Or maybe they find a different source for red in another House or format.

But there are other red / yellow color combinations that may touch on the lemon symbolism. Ser Robar Royce is the red guard in Renly's Rainbow Guard. The lost family sword of the Royce family is called Lamentation, which I believe might offer wordplay on "attain lemon." Red yearns for lemon (yellow) because red and yellow want to make orange.

Perhaps another example can be found in a character named Emmon who chews sour leaf, a red leaf that seems to be like chewing tobacco. I believe Emmon characters are associated with lemon, both by rhyme and because Renly's yellow guard was Emmon Cuy. The Emmon / red leaf combination doesn't work for Emmon Frey, however: I suspect it is because he is an ambitious Targ-wannabee, trying to combine yellow and red, but his mouth and teeth are just described as slimy and bloody-looking. He is unable to make orange.

I'm not an expert on the debate in the forum about lemon trees and where they grow but it might add a layer of meaning to the analysis to substitute the Targaryen dynasty for lemon trees.

The Targs left the Valyrian Peninsula and settled on Dragonstone. There they thrived while the other Valyrians died out. Actually, I think the cataclysm that destroyed the Valyrian Peninsula could be compared to the destruction of Winterfell by Ramsay Snow / Bolton, breaking the glass in the greenhouse which caused all of the fruit trees to die. (I believe Theon mentions the dead fruit trees in one of his later Winterfell POVs. I believe he also compares Sansa and Arya to pieces of fruit, ripe for picking, in an earlier POV where he wishes that Ned Stark had offered to let him marry into the Stark family. So the symbolism may be that Sansa IS the lemon that survived the sacking of Winterfell, similar to Dany being one of the last known Targaryen descendants.) I don't know for sure that lemon trees grow on Dragonstone, but the symbolism would fit with the Targaryen survival at that location and, perhaps, with the information that dragons seem to lay eggs, hatch and thrive best at that location.

Perhaps lemons are associated with Dorne because Nymeria came from Essos and brought her bloodline to the Martell line. The Rogare family also married into both the Targaryen and Martell families at some point. There have been several generations when the Targaryens turned to Dorne for royal marriages. I suspect there is something about Dorne that represents red and the Targs want to combine it with their own yellow to make more orange. I am mindful that our introduction to Prince Doran showed him surrounded by dying oranges - overripe blood oranges splatting on the ground. The later revelation that he is trying to broker a Targaryen / Martell alliance and marriage may be the author's way of showing that Doran wants to grow more oranges and prevent them from going to waste.

And then there's the lemon / melon connection . . .

Edited by Seams

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Sometimes a lemon is just a sour yellow fruit. Counting the number of times it is mentioned is as meaningless as counting the number of times Arbor Gold or any other type of wine appears in the story would be.

The only mentions of lemons in these discussions of importance is Dany's memory of the tree outside her window in the house with the red door in Braavos, and those that establish that lemons are not native to Braavos. The rest is indeed meaningless. The whole point being that Dany's memory of the tree in Braavos is an incongruity that we must account for in some way. Many have shown that in Martin's world wealth and power can account for this, just as it is a possible explanation for non-native species of plants growing outside of native climates in the real world.

The real question is what evidence do readers have that Dany's memory of the lemon tree being in Braavos is false. The answer is none. Nothing but conjecture. On the other side we have the evidence of the marriage pact that puts Ser Willem and the Red Viper in Braavos as witnessed by the Sealord of Braavos himself that places Darry, and by extension the Targaryen children, in Braavos during the time of Dany's memory. This is explicit hard evidence supporting the truth of Dany's memory. The only response to this is that the pact must be a fake. A fake because it doesn't fit the theory. Not because evidence supports the theory.

I'm all for serious discussion of the importance of this clue - I believe it is an important clue for the story - but for those who watched some video on line from someone who knows next to nothing about these books and has fallen in love with "what if" stories to the point of taking them seriously, it's time to explain why you dismiss evidence in face of conjecture.

Edited by SFDanny

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